Car accidents in Houston can impact your health and overall well-being for years to come. At Johnson Garcia LLP, our Houston car accident lawyers help you pursue the compensation you need to recover. Records obtained through your medical providers play an important part in this process. Find out why you need to get medical care immediately after a car accident and what type of doctor you should see.
Why should you see a doctor immediately after a car accident?
The Texas Department of Transportation reports that car accidents in Houston leave more than 50,000 people suffering personal injuries each year. Symptoms in these accidents can take days or even weeks to fully appear. Seeing a doctor immediately provides a proper diagnosis, documents your condition, and ensures you get the treatment you need. Medical records from these visits provide important evidence when filing a claim and can help determine the following:
- How your car accident happened and what the likely causes were;
- The full extent of your injuries and your prognosis for recovery;
- The amount of compensation you may be entitled to for current medical expenses, lost wages, and pain/suffering;
- Compensation for future losses due to the need for ongoing treatment and long term disabilities.
Not seeing a doctor immediately after a car accident can raise doubts about the severity of your injuries. The defense can use this to deny or downplay your claim. They can also try to blame injuries on pre-existing medical conditions, rather than your car accident.
Once you get medical care, follow all of your doctor’s instructions. Missing appointments, skipping physical therapy sessions, failing to fill prescriptions, or returning to work sooner than recommended can all jeopardize your claim. The defense may try to argue that you are at fault for neglecting to treat your injuries, causing them to become more severe.
What type of doctor should you see after a car accident?
Getting medical care after any kind of car accident in Houston is a top priority. The type of doctor you should see will depend on the severity of your injuries. Options include:
- An emergency room doctor: If your car accident injuries are severe or happen at night, you should visit the nearest hospital emergency room. You will be treated by the resident doctor and either released or admitted. Follow-up is typically with your own family physician.
- An urgent care doctor: If your injuries are less severe, visiting an urgent care doctor is a reasonable option. Again, follow up with your own doctor afterward.
- Primary care physician: Primary care providers are not always the best option in the immediate aftermath of a car accident in Houston. They may not be set up to bill the car insurance company and are often reluctant to testify in court.
- Medical specialists, such as an orthopedic doctor, surgeon, or neurologist: After your initial visit with an emergency room or urgent care doctor and follow-up with your primary care physician, you may be referred to a specialist for ongoing treatment of your car accident injuries.
You are responsible for medical bills incurred until your car accident claim is resolved. Insurance can help in temporarily offsetting these costs. If you don’t have medical insurance or have problems finding a doctor, our Houston car accident attorneys can refer you to someone locally who is familiar with treating car accident injuries.
What to discuss with your doctor after a car accident
Regular doctor visits help in diagnosing and treating car accident injuries while the medical records associated with these visits provide evidence in your claim. To ensure you get the quality of care you deserve and that the appropriate information is included in your file, discuss the following at your first visit:
- Your prior health history: Pre-existing conditions can impact recovery from car accident injuries. Providing a full health history aids in diagnosis and can help avoid complications.
- Details regarding how you got hurt in your car accident: Rather than simply describing your injuries or symptoms, provide basic details regarding your car accident, how it happened, and the impacts you suffered.
- What future treatment you should expect: Your medical records should include information regarding ongoing and future treatments that are likely to be required as part of your recovery.
- Work and activity restrictions: Discuss work and activity restrictions and follow your doctor’s recommendations.
- Your prognosis for the future: Ask your doctor about your maximum level of medical recovery, which is the point at which any lingering impairments are likely to result in permanent disabilities.
Our Houston car accident lawyers can help you find the right doctor
Car accident injuries can impact you for years into the future. With more than 30 years of experience, our Houston car accident lawyers provide the trusted legal guidance you need in filing a claim and can help you find the right doctor to get you started on the path to recovery. At Johnson Garcia LLP, our sole objective is to help you get the compensation you need to recover. Contact us online or give us a call to schedule a free consultation today.